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If you have your heart set on fresh pineapple in a hurry, a dedicated pineapple cutter may be just what you need.
What We Learned
Canned pineapple—or even precut supermarket wedges—can’t compare with a fresh, whole pineapple for juicy, tart sweetness. But removing the fruit’s spiky rind and tough core takes a sharp chef’s knife and patience, not to mention time and skill.
Specialized pineapple cutting tools separate the core, or the core and skin, from the flesh with some time-saving pushes or twists of a handle, and some even slice the fruit into rings at the same time. To find out whether any of them are worth buying, we rounded up six brands in a range of styles (priced from less than $10 to about $30, all dishwasher-safe), bought a case of pineapples, and got to work.
The least effective design—a pair of thin, steel half-circles attached to a short plastic handle—required an awkward rocking motion to force its flimsy blades through the fruit. It was a bit frightening, too, since it was impossible to use without having one hand in the way of its blades. One tube-shaped model removed only the core, and while it did so quickly and cleanly, we still had to pare away the pineapple’s diamond-patterned skin and “eyes” with a knife. Another “stab-and-push” style tool with two concentric circular cutters required too much effort and wasted a lot of fruit.
We preferred the corkscrew-style corer/slicers, all of which worked nearly effortlessly. These hollow, serrated tubes with a spiral-shaped blade at one end simultaneously slice and separate the fruit from the core and rind with several clockwise turns of a handle. When the corkscrew models had spiraled to the bottom of the pineapple, we simply lifted the tool out, holding a neat stack of evenly sized rings. To extract the slices, we detached the handles and slid the fruit off. The only drawback was waste: These corer/slicers left significant amounts of fruit still attached to the shell (as much as 1/4 inch in places), particularly if the tool was inserted at a slight angle. In the end, a few differences among the three corkscrew-style cutters left us with one clear standout, a sturdy stainless-steel tube with a comfortable plastic handle that gave us good leverage. Its heft and design made it easy to twist straight down, generating less waste than the other models and making 30-second work of an ordinarily arduous task.